Ford might be planning to make an even smaller pickup truck than the new 2019 Ranger.
We haven’t even gotten used to the idea of a mid-size Ford pickup and already we’re getting reports that Ford plans to go even smaller than the Ranger. A compact or even a subcompact pickup just might be in Ford’s future, according to president of global markets Jim Farley.
According to Automotive News, Farley was speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit when he said that Ford was "investing in more affordable versions of our truck business" and that "you can expect new nameplates below where we compete today."
He didn’t offer any further details, but cheaper, smaller trucks would have to be slotted below the Ranger, which is Ford’s current cheapest, smallest truck.
Last summer, Automobile Magazine reported that a new Focus-based pickup was coming from Ford for the year 2022. At the time, Ford responded to the story with the statement they were "significantly expanding our North America lineup with all-new vehicles and entering new segments with fresh designs and white space silhouettes that will position us for even more growth."
Now we have even more confirmation from Motor1 that a Focus-inspired pickup is on the way. According to a recent report, the design work for the new pickup is already done and test mules are wandering around as we speak. Under the hood is either a 1.5-L or 2.0-L EcoBoost engine, with the 2.0-L likely being sourced from the last generation of Focus we see here in North America.
Additionally, Ford plans to build the new Focus truck in Mexico and then ship it to the US and South America. In South America, it might be called the Ranchero, but here in North America we might see it called the Courier as Car and Driver found a trademark application submitted in the US last summer.
Subcompact and compact trucks are already popular in South America, so it’ll go on sale there first in 2021. Then in 2022, it’s our turn.
Frankly, this is weird. The last time Ford sold a compact pickup in the States was when it was based on the Mazda B-series in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Since then, tiny pickups just haven’t been around. It’s a mystery why Ford is bringing them back now, but if they made a Focus ST into a tiny pickup, it’s doubtful that anyone would complain.